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Whilst mythology is an element of religion, it's role is often dramatically overstated when it comes to worldbuilding. With that in mind, and observing that most other questions have focussed primarily on mythology, I will focus on the other aspects of religion. Whilst Christians will generally have at least a passing familiarity with the stories from the ...


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Most of the answers here seem very mainstream if I'm being honest. To answer the question "How do I create a unique religion" you should just make stuff up and test how it compares to existing religions. For example, you open a dictionary and randomly select the word "pinecone"; you form a religion around it. Now you test it; you will ...


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How about literal mythology and a religion surrounded by it. The chaos created galaxies, milkyway has created the Sun, the Sun has created Earth and mother Earth created the ground, the oceans and the sky from which humans have born. This mythos will stand true even today and will usher a healthy religion. If you want magic to be a part of this, you could ...


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To Build Your Own Mythos, Start With What You Know There are two jumping off points from our world of the mundane into myth : mind : also called psyche to Freud, animus to the classic scholar, or soul mood : team spirit, emotion, or just plain spirit. There are some big decisions you make regarding these two starting points that can take you into some ...


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There Are No Wrong Answers, and There are no Right Ones. Use Them All In our own world, there is a great diversity of religions, almost all of which have some central figure at the foundation of their collection of holy beings. What you said about monotheism is actually wrong, it is not a very modern catholic thing as it is the core of other Abrahamic ...


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Don't just go meta - go Zoroastrian meta Your characters have a sense that there is a world beyond their own. They go throughout their lives, but their actions are influenced by Fravashi (players), who have heeded the call of Ahura Mazda (the GM). The Fravashi even get to see their score, called an urvan, the fourth day after the characters die. The ...


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Some dieties are tied to powerful emotions. Some aren't even recognized as dieties even if they have incredibly large numbers of people who have knelt and performed the tradional rituals and sacrifices. This is the story of one such diety. It's hard to determine exactly how many people have done the ritual and sacrifice, but based on the best survey evidence ...


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In the last century, many thousands of 'new religious movements' (aka cults) have appeared all over the world. These are mostly small and short-lived but some have membership in the millions and have persisted for generations. All of these religious movements are based, in some way, around the question you are asking: "how do we create a new thing that ...


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Variation is Godliness: There are so many ways to mix up faith that it is, actually kind of funny: Mesoamerica: There have been some good alternatives listed here for alternate pantheons, but Mayan and Aztec religious traditions are messy, complex, and full of great stories waiting for someone to follow up and bring them to life. Gods based on nature: A ...


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To understand religions - and superstitions - it may help to understand how they arise. Put quite simply, they begin as lies to children. Imagine that you're a parent with kids. You have things to do, but the kids are being kids, and are asking you questions to which you don't have the answer, like "Where did the world come from?", so, when they ...


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It's probably necessary to understand what a god/goddess is, if you want to mix it up a little and come up with a unique deity/pantheon/religion. Most of the details are lost to prehistory, unfortunately. But we can reconstruct quite a bit about how the concept of a god must have emerged. It goes a little something like this: Humans believe in spirits. These ...


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Gods of places. Instead of gods having spheres, they are gods of cities, or regions. They may pick up a few associations--the god of a merchant city is connected to selling--but a merchant from a mining town honors and relies on the mining town god.


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Look at Non Indo-European Religions and Non Mediterranean Religions Greek mythology is going to share features with those of other Indo-European cultures (Pretty much all of Europe save for the Basque, Magyars, and Finns; alongside with the Iranian and North Indian cultures). So to properly avoid any sub textual references to Greek deities simply choose ...


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Mythology is not religion. Mythology and religion are two very different things. Funny thing is, the ancient Greek mythology we all know and love was not the actual ancient Greek religion. For an introduction to the subject, I recommend: E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (1962). (This is a foundational book; highly recommended.) (Link goes to a ...


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Skip the gods, and stick with just magic. Many that believe in Reincarnation believe in "Karma", a form of magic that causes you to be reincarnated either higher or lower; but there is no personified "God". Witchcraft can also be a form of religious practice without personified good or evil; there is just magic to be learned. You see this ...


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One option is to have various "gods of", but instead of making them gods of an activity, profession, region or race, get creative with what's being divvied up between them. For example, take the Myers-Briggs personality test. Introvert/Extrovert, Thinking/Feeling, Sensing/Intuition, and Judging/Perceiving. From that, you can get The god of ...


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Monotheistic religions don't have to be catholic-focused, think of Islam, Judaism, Mandaeism, or even other Christian faiths. Alternatively, you can use a polytheistic religion with one (or a small group) being considered the most important. You could also simply not use Gods at all. This isn't unheard of, especially if you want to include lower beings (like ...


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Brahman You have left out the third kind of religion. Many eastern Religions have a nonpersonified Godhead. The fundamental nature of reality is not a big man in the sky. It is the arrangement of the world into tiers, with the lower teirs being closer to nonliving matter, and the upper ones being closer to a state of nirvannah. There is also a cycle of ...


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The time that a soul spends waiting to be reborn isn't merely waiting until a suitable body becomes available. In fact, just about any body will do. Actually this time is a period of meditation while the soul rids itself of the attachments, ambitions and regrets of its former lives. So, if a soul is forcibly reincarnated before it has had time to meditate, ...


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The upload to the new avatar occurs bottom-up, the process is incomplete. (Or done with a lack of finesse) By which I mean, basic brain-functions, such as breathing and maintaining the body, are left to to the host, the internal wiring of the hippocampus and the cerebellum, the wiring from the body/brain-stem through the pons the parts of the brain destined ...


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Burial at sea feeds the sharks The culture practices burial at sea, and they know no matter what eats their loved ones, it ends up at the top of the food chain in the great white shark. Perhaps eating the Great White Shark is sacrilegious because then your ancestors, or at least the parts you excrete, are stranded on land. Or similar to Sky Burial, the ...


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Tapeworms. The meat of these animals often contains parasites. Homo Sapiens solved this problem using fire to cook meat and kill the parasites. They first invented fire to keep warm and later realized it is good for cooking. Homo Gigas never invented fire because their large bodies make them better at dealing with the cold. They soak up more heat during the ...


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Dangerous animals as gods In many mythologies, snakes, lions, elephants, eagles and some other animals are considered gods and are worshiped. Shark worship Similarly, sharks are also found in different mythologies as gods or sacred animals, e.g., mythology of the Australian Aboriginal people or Hawaiian mythology. You can find more details here. You can find ...


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Sharks are already sacred animals in several real world religions. This was especially prevalent in Polynesia and Micronesia. In Hawaii the shark had associations with masculinity, warfare and successful fishing trips. Animals have sacred/totemic significance in cultures because the animal in some way represents traits that humans admire and want for ...


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Reincarnation is a time of rest and rebuilding, and is flavored by events in the Material Plane. By spending so little time before reincarnation, the soul hungers for energy so badly that they must: Prepare the Spiritual Plane for their arrival by killing certain kinds of people/animals/magic trees, which leads them on their crusade, or Prayer needs to be ...


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/their spirit ascends to the heavens, where it is placed within the cycle of birth and death to await its new body. This can take hundreds of years,/ There are lots of other things in the hundreds of years waiting room. The avatar would have been fine with being reincarnated in the baby chosen by the SCP. It is confident in its abilities. It looked forward ...


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First me secular answer, then my theological one. Centuries on, I'm guessing probably since the enlightenment at least, of people having aversion to the idea is in my view, the largest factor. In the the past three or so centuries, monarchy based governments fell more and more out of favor, and a not uncommon feature in those governments was incest. Families ...


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Bread and Games. also known as State Sanctioned Fun. The state and church work together to keep society stable. In other words the peasants make food, the craftsmen make everything else, the army protects us, and the nobles do administration. Part of the administration is to organise mass festivals six times a year. Everyone that meets their obligations to ...


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Because it's hard-wired into the brain at some fundamental level. Taboos are like that... they're not things that people think about carefully, and after careful study then they become disgusted. Instead, it is a profound reaction guided by brain structures written into our genetic code. It's possible that evolution would eventually weed out this taboo ...


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The same conditions that we humans evolved under. Relatively speaking, we are physically pathetic predators. We have no fangs, no claws, no armor, no spikes. Our senses are distinctly non-predator like, we are pretty much scent-blind compared to dogs, cats, and other predators; our hearing sucks, even our eyesight, although good compared to many predators, ...


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The trickster god. It seems paradoxical of course, but it's long been observed that people's define their culture by adversity, suffering - the trickster embodies this. In contrast to L.Dutch's belonging and cohesiveness within a group, there is always the force of individualism, of mischief and at the extreme, malice. These things need a name so that they ...


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Because avoiding incest is a biological imperative. Humans have evolved over millions of years to avoid incest, and now there's no need to avoid it? Evolution is telling us otherwise, true or not. Growing up with someone, or living with someone who grows up from a young age has evolved to make all those involved see one-another as part of a nuclear family, ...


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I would say you can't have a civilization develop without valuing camrederie and loyalty. For a group of individuals to work well together, they need to trust that each of them will pull in the same direction, and everything in all civilization shouts that basic concept: walls protect who is inside from who is outside, because who is inside is trusted to be ...


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Diversity: Just because a double recessive trait isn't a lethal or results in a grossly dysfunctional disease doesn't mean that having hundreds of people who are essentially identical is a good idea. Inbreeding results in a lack of genetic diversity, setting up a situation where a population can be wiped out by a single disease, or a single way of thinking ...


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Many relationships have been considered incestuous while equally close relatives have been acceptable marriage partners. For instance, cross cousins vs. parallel cousins in many societies. Or societies in which you can not marry anyone of your patriline (or matriline) no matter how distant. Furthermore, many relationships have been considered incestuous ...


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Because it fails in the additional purpose given to sexual relationship/marriage: extending or gaining influence. Very often in the past, and in some cases still today, marriage and the underlying sexual relation were used as a mean for certain families to sanction alliances and reinforce common interests. Keeping everything in the family is long term ...


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Because it's friggin' gross, man! Taboos don't need to have any underlying functional purpose, aside from social identification. Some come about for originally-practical reasons, but not all; and even those that do, like the incest taboo, easily outlast the reason for their creation. There are, for example, cultures in which it is taboo for a son-in-law to ...


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Because it breaks down the distinction between familial love and romantic love, concepts which many people would rather have separated for many reasons. Wikipedia said it better than I could: In most societies, it is within families that children acquire socialization for life outside the family, and acts as the primary source of attachment, nurturing, and ...


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This allows them to observe all events from past to future at once as would a spectator Then either a) you're stuck in a predestination paradox, because you can already see the outcome of your influence and there's nothing you can do differently (because you're already going to have done it) or b) you can violate causality which means you're free to try ...


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Evolutionarily. Followers will do various things they hope will please their deity. Initially these things will be fairly random. Some will come closer than others to actually pleasing the deity. Those followers who are "colder" will be punished - maybe a tooth will fall out. Followers who are "warmer" will get rewards - maybe they ...


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Show them in their dreams Dreams can be complex and highly fantastic. Human mind can handle complex things happening in dreams that they might not be able to handle or comprehend in real life. The vast and incomprehensible mind of a god can be depicted with signs and images in dreams. Humans spend about one-third of their life sleeping. Thus, it is an ...


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Leave your message to a "man in the middle": be it the bowels of some animal, the flight of the birds, coffee grounds, the stars, some colored stones, a set of game cards, molten lead in a fresh egg, the flame of a fire... Mankind in its history has read the future and the will of the gods in many, many way. Profit from this and use one of those ...


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